One food group that I try to fit into my diet on a daily basis is dark leafy greens. These include kale, collards, lettuces, spinach, chard, bok choy, and brussel sprouts, to name a few. A green smoothie can meet most of your raw veggie and fruit daily needs.
Concentrated Sources of Nutrition
Calorie for calorie, greens are one of the most concentrated sources of nutrition of any food; sea vegetables, sprouts and fresh water vegetables also pack a nutrient punch. Leafy greens are rich in minerals, including calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium, vitamins K, C, E, and some of the Bs. Greens also boast phyto-nutrients, including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other benefits.
If these powerhouse nutrients are not enough to convince you, greens also contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats – fats that are necessary for brain functioning, aid in lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation, and lower your risk of stroke.
How to Include these Greens in your Diet
With all of the wonderful and undeniable benefits of greens, you may still be asking how to include these in your diet on a daily basis. Well, I like to have at least one green smoothie a day. A quart of this green goodness will provide 6 to 8 servings of fresh raw fruit and vegetables. The main ingredient is greens. Lacinato kale is my favorite one to use, but you can include any type of kale or any leafy green of your choice. Here is my simple recipe, which can be adjusted to meet your tastes:
Green Smoothie Recipe by Jill Welch
- Greens- Use a variety of greens and change up regularly
- 3-5 leaves kale (I like lacinato or black kale)
- ½ to 2 leaves collards (depending on the size)
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 -2 green apples or red and green combination (or to taste)
- 3-5 strawberries or handful of other berries (optional)
- Filtered water (enough to allow blender to puree ingredients)
- Optional ingredients: chia seeds, flax seeds, bee pollen, Green Super Food, spirulina and other natural supplements
Place all washed and cut fruit and veggies in a blender with water and blend until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner smoothie. Add more fruit if you want a sweeter smoothie. Drink immediately.